Cleveland Browns: 15 greatest offensive linemen of all-time

Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Jim Ray Smith
Jim Ray Smith (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images) /

53. . Guard. (1956-62). Jim Ray Smith. 8. player

Greatest offensive lineman in Cleveland Browns history: #8. Jim Ray Smith

Back in 1954, the Browns used a ‘future draft pick’ on Jim Ray Smith who was at Baylor at the time. It was a different time, as this pick could be used on a player who wasn’t yet eligible to play in the NFL, but it gave the team his rights. It was also different, as there were so few teams in the league that Smith was the 64th overall selection in that draft, but technically was a sixth-round pick.

A two-way lineman who played offensive and defensive tackle at Baylor, Smith finished his career with the Bears and ended up doing enough to later be inducted into the Baylor Hall of Fame.

On top of that, he was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame as well as the College Football Hall of Fame. Smith never made it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he did have a career full of accolades after spending seven seasons with Cleveland and his final two with the Dallas Cowboys.

Smith also had a commitment to the U.S. Army and eventually joined the Browns in 1956. Once there, they tried him out at defensive end as a rookie before moving him to guard. Smith ended up starting six games in 1957 before taking over as the left guard full-time. He never gave that job up and was a stud for the Browns during the span of 1958 through 1962.

The offensive lineman was named to five Pro Bowls from 1958 through 1962 and was also a selection to the All-Pro First Team three times (1959 through 1961) and All-Pro Second Team twice (1958 and 1962).